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Hashtag Winning: Excerpts from Middling

I write an occasional newsletter (quarterly when I don't forget) to friends and family about my life: music, books, work, and getting older. I'd love to send it to you. Sign up for Middling here. What follows is an excerpt from the fall 2019 issue. *** Every September I attend a retreat for the Academy of Christian Editors. A feature of that retreat is a sharing circle where we each get roughly a minute to introduce our favorite book we read over the past year. You can see this year’s complete list here. I always find this exercise a little stressful — I want my choice to be distinct and memorable, something I won’t be judged for except to be judged as distinct and memorable myself. I had a number of books that came to mind, including the one I was still reading as I flew to Nashville for the retreat: The Nickel Boys, by Colson Whitehead. This novel inspired by true events is set in the mid 1960s at a “reform school” for boys. All the students are tyrannized by th

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